Today we went and mowed the tracks around the reed beds, a job that hasn’t been done for a few years. We are getting in there before they become a really tough job to get back into order. Mind you they are overgrown and a bit of a labyrinth with plenty of sharp drops to avoid. Because of this James and Kate walked ahead through the deep grass and reed to show where the edges were and I drove at a breakneck speed of 0.5 mph. Listening to the Formula 1 on the radio gave a nice contrast to the super slow mowing.
The tracks are not just for access and to allow management of the area, their structure is important within the habitat as a whole. The reed beds at Wicken are pretty large at over 30 hectares, and contain a diverse range of species from the Reed Leopard Moth to the Bittern. The tracks allow for a larger amount of edge to the reeds and grasses, and in simple terms the diversity of the reed beds increases at the edges, so the more the better.
I should point out that the tracks are not for access into the reedbeds. So please don’t go hunting for them.